According to Arab News, Wi-Tribe Pakistan LDI and Du Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC) have signed an agreement to link the UAE with Pakistan via a new “Orient Express” undersea fiber optic. Wi-Tribe Pakistan LDI is a company owned by HB International Investments Limited which will invest $100 million in Pakistan’s information technology and telecom sector to lay the 1300km Orient Express submarine cable linking the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a datacenter in Pakistan. 

Wi-Tribe LDI Pakistan is the owner of the project in Pakistan and possesses requisite licenses as per the regulations of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority.

Wi-Tribe LDI Pakistan is the owner of the project in Pakistan and possesses requisite licenses as per the regulations of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority.

Emergent Telecommunications LLC, owned by HB International Investments, is the project management company for the Orient Express cable system and is directly concerned with the project.

As the partnering telecom operator for the landmark project along with Wi-Tribe Pakistan LDI, Du will be UAE’s landing party for the cable and provide landing station infrastructure for the connectivity of the fiber optic cable system.

The 1,300-kilometer-long underwater cable will link UAE’s Kalba with Pakistan’s two provinces, Sindh and Balochistan, at the landing points of Karachi and Gwadar. The project is much more than just putting the submarine cable as this entails setting up a datacenter in Pakistan and inland terrestrial routes.

The cable system will carry four fiber pairs and 40 tbps of total design capacity, enabling faster connectivity via internet with the rest of the world.

The project seeks to build on China’s “One belt, One Road” initiative, a multibillion dollar investment project to develop global trade routes, and seeks to develop the opportunity for onward terrestrial connectivity with China to the east and Europe to the west.

According to a statement by Emergent Telecommunications, the Orient Express cable system will have 2 landing stations, Karachi & Gawadar in Pakistan. The CPEC [China Pakistan Economic Corridor] project which is of immense importance for regional and bilateral trade will benefit from this submarine connectivity to the outside world. The Orient Express cable system  will also provide alternate route from regional UAE IX Internet Exchange to China and Hong Kong IX.

The Orient Express cable will offer high bandwidth capacity, internet services and transit facilities with low latency, high-quality routes, and peering services to other service providers and enterprise customers.

The UAE is one of Pakistan’s major economic and trading partners and, by augmenting the rollout of the Orient Express subsea cable, Du will play a key part in further cementing the excellent ties between the two nations.

A growing ICT market, Pakistan has 161 million cellular, 69 million 3G/4G and 71 million broadband subscribers, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority data show.

The launch of the submarine cable system will help improve Pakistan’s digital divide, create education opportunities and increase general awareness among people.